Live Inspired: In the “land of the free,” our toilets flush all

• In partnership with John Reamer and Associates

These days, I spend a lot of time trying to remember where to put my toilet paper.

Since I got back to the States a week ago, I’ve found myself lingering in a lot of bathrooms, awkwardly holding that little used swath and trying to figure out why the trash can is so far away.

When I realize, anew, that I’m back in the ol’ U.S. of A. and I can indeed flush the stuff, my new reaction is less relieved than it is confused — mystified by the fact that the toilets can actually handle it here. I’ve stared into a lot of toilets, unconvinced it will all make its way down.

Perhaps this is the biggest analogy of it all: life in the States, down to the way we dispose of our excrement, is different. Almost every moment back is a reminder of that.

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Almost every place I go, I intend to stay only a week. But it’s not natural for me. Somehow, I’m a nomad who loves to stay. A wanderer who values community. A vagabond who craves routine. I simultaneously dream of seeing the world while still feeling the pull to stop and connect. I miss the pieces of life spent around a kitchen, over a bottle of wine with old friends. I miss that particular privilege of being known and understood in the way only those who have known and understood you for a great while can. But perhaps that’s why I’ve paused in Corozal. I feel that community, that routine, that sense of normalcy and understanding over a bottle of wine. It doesn’t mean it’s easy, or that I don’t have hard days, like today, when I felt that deep awayness, that realization of how far removed I am from my old life, that distinct distance from those I love the most. But the feeling of finding your people, the world over… it can’t be replaced. It keeps me going, it keeps me moving, and sometimes, like now, it keeps me staying. 💚

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Ah Sarteneja — I took a day trip from Corozal today and it was lovely — until 15 minutes after arriving I accidentally plunged into sewage sink mud up to my thighs. What an experience! I know now what it is like to walk barefoot, covered in mud and smelling like a nest of rotten eggs, to the nearest building to beg for a shower. Thankfully, I managed to save my camera and backpack, and those who greeted me were gracious considering the circumstances. I showered for about an hour and a half, using an entire bar of soap — still not sure I’ll ever feel clean again. Afterward, I managed to see more of the village, which is truly lovely. Just watch out for sewage-y sink mud. Full digest of the unfortunate event is in my Instagram stories.

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